Something Sexy About A Gut
“There’s something sexy about a gut. Not a 400-pound beer gut, but a little paunch. I love that.” – Sandra Bullock
So the contract has been signed, and my stomach is officially in my throat. Mr. Mystery has now received 57 frantic texts, 22 hysterical phone calls, 13 psychotic emails, and 1 panicky singing telegram.* The subject of all these correspondences? RE: OMFG, I AM GOING TO THROW UP.
Somewhere beneath the white hot dread there is still excitement about The B’more Big Girl House – what I am affectionately calling my recent acquisition – but when the words “flood,” “fire,” and “gut” start getting tossed around, one starts to toss their cookies. Or at the very least choke on the chunks that rise up the esophagus.
Last night I happily signed and initialed a million pages of a contract that made very little sense to me. I skimmed the legal text and made knowledgeable uh-huh’ing and hmm-hmm’ing noises, while my brain checked out and instead contemplated wallpaper patterns and whether I’d get one of those nifty whore red washing machines for my new casa.
But today is a different story.
Today’s story includes inspectors who referred to my potential-laden girl as “a hole” and told me that it was a “total gut job.” As in not a little paunch, but a 400-pound beer gut. When the word “lead” came up, I actually swooned and fell off of my chair. When the term “water damage” was spoken, the Death rattle resonated in my throat and I gave my soul up to God.
Mr. Mystery told me, lovingly, to cut the crap and get a grip.**
So I did. I got a grip on Google and have been calling contractors. With each I say, “I bought a house. It has lead. It needs help. You must provide that help.” Mr. Mystery insists that we can do a lot of the work ourselves, but Internet, I don’t have the faith in us that he does. We can’t get the damn Roomba to work, for the love. How are we going to wire an entire house? Visions of Death by Electric Shock are zapping in my head.
Despite the Utter Significance of this Large and Intimidating Purchase, I indeed need to chillax and remember what made me love my girl in the first place: this hideous linoleum.
Take a gander at the 70s yellow pattern. Love, right? Okay, so it’s awful, but there’s something about it that appeals to me. Like an ugly baby that you’re repulsed by, but still can’t help but love. My brutally honest boyfriend would posit that I love it because I am drawn to all things “grandma-ish.” Perhaps he’s right, but I rather think that I love it because IT’S AWESOME.
I am breathing deeply and ratcheting down my frenzy, but the reality that this job is going to be bigger than I anticipated is niggling at the back of my brain. I can - and WILL – take on this project, though it may kill me in the short-term. Long-term it may just be the best investment I ever made.
My good friend told me, “This [house] is a life lesson. It might be an expensive one, but just have a hell of a lot of fun with it even if it doesn’t go as planned.” Wise words, those. I’m going to spray paint them on the soon-to-be-gutted wall of my house.
*Slight exaggeration. I’ve only sent 42 frantic texts.
**The term “get a grip” never crossed my love-butt’s lips. He’s too kind - and smart – for that.
I AM: LEARNING to love my gut